The FAFSA Is Changing. Here’s What You Need to Know.


The FAFSA Simplification Act passed by Congress is introducing several changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the 2024-25 aid year. These changes affect all current and prospective students.

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) and Integrated Enrollment Marketing (IEM) are working together with several other departments to provide details about these changes to students, faculty, and staff as they become available.

What's Changing?

The extent of these changes is still being determined but are known to include:

  • Updates to how aid is calculated
  • The implementation of a revised, streamlined application
  • The introduction of the “contributor” role

As a result of these updates, the 2024-25 FAFSA will not open on October 1, as it usually does. It is projected to become available in December 2023.

Additionally, due to the changes in aid calculations, more students will gain access to Pell funding, while some will lose it.

How Can I Help Students and Stakeholders Prepare?

Direct students to Mason’s centralized resource

The central resource for this information is the FAFSA Simplification page. This page will be updated throughout this year’s FAFSA process and can be linked to in all communications about the 2024-25 aid year.

The following shortlink has been created for this page:

Encourage students to create the necessary FSA ID(s) for their FAFSA

Although the FAFSA will not be available until December 2023, students can start the process by creating their FSA ID today.

Importantly, all those who qualify as a “contributor” to a student’s FAFSA must create an FSA ID as well. This can include:

  • The student
  • Parents and co-parents (if the student is dependent)
  • Spouse (if the student is independent and filed separate tax returns)

FSA IDs are created on the Federal Student Aid website.

Staying Up to Date

OSFA and IEM will communicate consistently about these changes throughout the 2024-25 aid year via the FAFSA Simplification page and additional outreach, including email campaigns to prospective and current students, faculty, and staff. This is the biggest change to the FAFSA in 40 years, and we appreciate your attention and support as we guide our students through the process.